It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday Friends! again.

Well, its time again for Friday Friends! I have missed the whole week of posting and I haven't accomplished much, either. Although I did get my first pumpkin done. Here is my version of the pumpkin from Make and Takes. I wanted to make this one a little bit sophisticated, so I used all black and white papers, then used fabric paint to paint the spider web and stick the spider on the pumpkin. I have a bigger pumpkin that I plan to do with old book pages, as soon as I get an old book. I live about twenty miles away from the thrift stores, so I don't get there every day.

A close-up of the spider web and spider.

The white pumpkin is the one I'm going to do with book pages, although I like its plainness next to the fancy one.
Hope you like it. Now here's the first Friend for this Friday. Eighteen25 is written by three sisters from Las Vegas named Jamie, Jodie and Jennifer. They have 11 kids between the three of them, so their crafting and blogging probably keeps them sane! Have a look at their blog here: . They have a lot of guest posters and you'll see what great ideas they have. One I really liked were these cute little spiders from guest poster Rebecca over at Simple As That. Aren't these the cutest spiders you ever saw? And they're so easy to make! Try one out.

Next comes Five to Nine, written by three co-workers and friends, who work hard from 9 to 5 and probably even harder from 5 to 9. They have some really cute ideas and some terrific insights into parenting. Hop on over to and check them out! I love these little Frankenstein pops and this cute little cupcake stand. They are way cute!

Last, but not least, is Flip Chick Designs. She has an absolutely darling blog site! And these gumball necklaces are so cute, they just beg to be shared with everyone. She gave a birthday party in pink, yellow and green, and I wish it had been for me. She coordinated everything and there was lots of goodies, including gumball necklace favors. Go over and check her out at .

Well, that's it for this Friday Friends! I hope you will check out these three blogs and leave a comment for them to let them know you liked what you saw.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Friends!

I'm starting a new feature and I'm calling it Friday Friends! I will be scouting out some great blog posts and creative ideas and posting them here each Friday, and I hope you will enjoy them, and maybe want to be one of them.
The first 3 Friday Friends! are Our Scoop, Make and Takes and Little Birdie Secrets. They all have great sites full of ideas and inspiration. I picked one project from each to highlight here (of course, I picked something I really like) and I'm sure you will want to visit them to see more!
Let's start with Our Scoop. It's written by Amy, a mother of four small children, who loves to sew and craft. Her blog is very family-oriented and its colorful and nice to look at. I found these Valentine Chair Backers that I fell in love with, but I'm going to make mine in a non-holiday theme so they can be used year round. I plan to put them on the backs of my grand kids chairs and each day I can put in a little note, an after-school snack, any of their little belongings that I find hanging out in the wrong place, etc. Then when they come home from school each day they can check the bags to see what's in there. I think it will be a great idea! I will post pictures when they are done and tell you how they work. Here's the link the the tutorial for these bags,

Next is Make and Takes. This is an awesome website that features a lot of guest posters (maybe someday I can be one?) and has tons of good ideas! The creator and managing editor is Marie LeBaron, and she also blogs on Babble.. I found a pumpkin that is decoupaged with book pages. Book pages! On of my favorite things to use! How fun is that? Anyway, the link for the pumpkin is here: . I'm going to use a papier mache pumpkin, or one of those foam-y fake ones so mine can be used year after year. Again, I will post pics when its done.

The last friend for today is Little Birdie Secrets. I think this may be my new favorite blog. It is written by a couple of young women from the Pacific Northwest (hey, that's where I am!) and they have a little bit of everything here. What I found here that I love is the most amazing way to do transfers on cloth! Now, I have used a method similar to this to do photo transfers to paper, but never to cloth. I will be using this technique to make some Christmas gifts, pictures to be posted later.  Here is the link for these:

 Well, that's my first Friends Friday! Hope you enjoyed it and will join me again next Friday for more great sites with more great ideas.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." I hope you never get into such hot water that you have the need to find out just how strong you are. See you next time, Gramma G.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tie Angels

When we lose someone we love, most of us like to have a small remembrance of them to keep around where we can see it and.....remember them. This is usually easier for women than men. Women have lots of little chatchkies that will hold memories for their loved ones, but with men, its harder. What are you gonna do....bronze that table saw? Hang those wrenches in a pleasing design on the wall? Probably not! But you can make a cute little angel out of one of his ties. I know, I know...there are a lot of men out there that don't wear ties, but most of them have at least one that they wear to weddings, funerals, baby blessings or christenings, occasions like that. And if they don't, I know you can find a tie that will remind you of them. Maybe they liked to hunt or golf, or went wild over baseball or basketball. There are ties out there for everything nowadays, so find one that's good, and this is what you do with it.
Gather up your supplies. You will need scissors, a hot glue gun and glue sticks, a 6" or 8" crocheted doily, a wooden bead called a head bead, some really heavy thread (button and carpet thread), the tie, of course, and some miscellaneous trims, like braided trim and decorative cord. (There's also a little star in the picture, but I didn't like it, so I didn't use it.) You will also need a short piece of pearl rope trim, the size you prefer.
Now, take your tie and cut off it about 6' or 8" inches from the bottom of the fat part of the tie. Then cut off the tip of the skinny end and cut a piece about 13" long. This is more than you need, but it allows you some "wiggle" room. Tie a lose overhand knot in the middle of the skinny piece and work the ends around until both are right-side up, then tighten the knot a little. The knot will be the angel's hands. Next, gather up the cut edge of the fat piece (do a fan fold) and tie it really tight with the heavy thread, about 1/2" down. Make a couple of knots so that the thread won't come untied in the future. Take the doily and gather it up, also with a fan fold, in the middle. You might want to try this a couple of different ways. Turn the doily a little each time so that the outside edge of the wings has points or no points, whichever way you like them. One way they will look like mine, and the other way they will look a little more square.

Fill the hole in the wooden bead about halfway with hot glue and work the tied end of the tie up into the hole. Try to get it in far enough to hide the thread and make sure the ends of the thread are inside. Cut a piece of your cord or some ribbon about 4" or 5" long and tie the ends in an overhand knot to form a loop. Glue the knot at the base of the head in the back, with the loop going up. This is what she will hang by. Place the "hands" on the front of the tie, in the center and about 2"-3" down from the head. Bring the ends around to the back and position them at an angle where they overlap at the "shoulders", where the head meets the tie. Cut them the the right length, making sure they over lap about 1", and notice in the photo above that they are cut at an angle. This makes a nicer looking back. Using your glue gun, glue them in place, also gluing between the layers of the arm that's on top, so it will lay flat and not hang open. Now glue the wings on top of the arms at head level, just high enough to hide the knot of the cord loop.

Glue the trim to the bottom of the tie wherever it looks good to you. You can use upholstery trim, rick rack or fringe, narrow lace or even a row of small buttons. I have used any number of things and they all look nice. To finish off her neck, you can tie the cord around her neck or tie it in a bow, and let it hang down under her arms. You could also put a little metal charm under her chin or a tiny flower, any kind of small embellishment. The ends of the cord need to be tied in knots so they don't unravel. Use the pearl string to put a headband around her head (it looks kind of like a halo), and she's done.

I tied the cord in a bow on this one and I don't like it
 as well as just tying it in a knot. The bow is too bulky for my tastes.

Here is an example. I made tie angels for my children out their grandfather's
ties and wrote a little poem to go with them. The drawing was done by
my ex-son-in-law from a picture of my father when he was young.
This one also had matching trim on the head instead of pearls.

And this one is one of the ties made from those worn by family and friends at the funeral of my little granddaughter, Madison, who died at the age of two from cancer. Pink was her favorite color and all the family members wore pink dresses and pink ties. (This shows that tie angels can be linked to the memory of a female, too, I guess.) On these I found these little tiny cloth dolls at Wal*Mart with cute little faces. I had to go to 3 different stores to get enough of them, but finally I got them. I used the heads to make treetop angels for all the family's Christmas trees, too.
Well, there's a few examples of how you can make each one a little different. Add a button, use trim instead of pearls, etc. No matter how you make them, the recipients will love them, because you cared enough to make a personal memento of their loved one.

Hilel once said, "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." This is what we have to do sometime in our life, so until next time, keep dancing.  Gramma G

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New favorite website!

I just found the cutest flower push pin tutorial! I was on one of my favorite new crafty websites, Rook No. 17, and I clicked on one of her links, which took me to theVspot , and blog. I clicked on a link there that took me to Something Turquoise and the tutorial for the push pins. Here's a link that will take you directly there without all the twists and turns. . They are cute and easy!
Well, my research is leading me closer and closer to an Etsy shop of my own. Now I have to get into how to get one and the tax paperwork involved in having one. If anyone has an easy method of keeping records for tax purposes and an idea of what kind of forms I need to have, let me know. Do I need a business license? I will have to check into some things, and then start getting stuff ready to be photographed. I've been reading up on how to improve my photographic skills, too. I'm itching to get going, I just have to make sure that its the right thing for me. I also heard about another place called Folksy that I want to check out. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it must be something like Etsy, so I want to take a look before I make a final decision.
I've been checking the TV listings for my favorite shows, and a whole bunch of them start this next week! I will be so busy watching them, that I don't know how I'll have time for anything else. Just kidding :) 
Well, I need to get back to my research. Maybe next time I will have some Etsy news. Until then, keep the home fires burning and I'll see you later. Gramma G.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More research....

Whew! We are having a really busy time right now. My husband will be having another surgery on October 4th and he has tests and blood work and pre-op, etc. I never saw so many doctors in such a short time in my life! But, I have a lot of time to read while all this testing is going on, so I'm trying to learn some new things. I'm also getting brave enough to experiment with a few things, hence the Recipes list on the side bar. I tried a few ways to get it right, and I finally got it to do what I wanted it to. There are probably easier ways to do it, but this way works and I can do it! So its all good.
I'm also back on the diet roller coaster. Oooooh, fun. I put a little diet ticker on the sidebar, too, so you can all follow me in my progress, (or lack of, sometimes). If I get off the track, you can let me know you've noticed and send me a message to get back with the program! Keep me in line, OK?
And as for the Etsy thing, I will be exploring the Etsy scene in the next few days, or maybe a week, looking at shops and some of the best-selling items to try and decide if its the thing for me. The more I read, the more I like the sounds of it, but I want to actually look at it first. If you have an Etsy shop, let me know the name so I can look at it, and let me know how you are doing with it.

Making paper with the grandkids.
We made Tic Tac Toe boards, and they had a lot of fun. They want to do it again!

This is a short post, because I have to get back on the heating pad. My back is killing me (I think I need a new mattress) and the heat seems to be the only thing that helps. I think maybe I need to slow down a little, but its so hard to do! Gandhi said, "There is more to life than increasing its speed," and I think he may be right. So here is a slower Gramma G saying....see ya next time!

Monday, September 12, 2011


While we were at the beach, and the family was playing in the ocean, my husband and I walked the beach and enjoyed just watching the waves and the seals playing out a ways. Then I started noticing the driftwood on the beach, a lot of it half-buried in the sand. It was smooth and beautiful and came in so many colors! It drew my eye and I started picking it up. I kept showing Chuck what I was picking up, and pretty soon he was picking it up, too. We gathered so much that we had to have the kids help us carry it back to the campsite! The next time we went to the beach, we took a bag to carry it in, and my son helped us gather more. Then the kids got into the groove, and we came back with a whole lot of driftwood!

This is just the smaller stuff. There's more than this

Some pieces were quite large and we had to rearrange the back of the Bronco to get it all in! Once we got it all home, I spread some of it out on the table in the backyard to let it dry out. When that was dry I spread another layer, until I had it all dried out. Some of the pieces we picked up were little tiny things. I told everyone I wanted a bunch of little ones to use for making souvenirs from the trip. Those I washed and put a little bleach in the water so they wouldn't stink. I drilled holes in them and made earrings and bracelets for me and my granddaughter. (My daughter-in-law doesn't like the feel of wood, so she didn't get any.) I got into my stash and found some shell beads to put in between the wood pieces. I strung the bracelets on stretchy plastic jewelry cord so I didn't have to have any hardware. They just slip over the hand. My little granddaughter loves hers and can't wait to wear it to school tomorrow.

Then I went to work on the bigger pieces. While we were walking around the little shops and booths on the boardwalk, I saw these wind chime type hangings made from driftwood and they were so cool! Of course, they don't make much noise, so they're not very chime-y, but they sure were beautiful, so I decided to make my own. I got into my stash again and this time I found a necklace that I picked up at a yard sale. It was a really ugly necklace, but the beads were interesting and I knew that someday I would find something to do with them, and here it was! Once again, I drilled holes and strung the driftwood with beads and shells in between them and they look fantastic! I put three strings hung from a long piece of driftwood, then hung it with a white cord. It looks real nice hanging on our front porch.

Not much noise, but it sure looks nice.
I still have a lot of driftwood left, and I plan to get more next time we go to the beach, so watch out! There will be more driftwood projects ahead. I might even put some of the jewelry in my Etsy shop, if I decide to start one. I'm still doing research, but its looking better all the time.
Oh, by the way....did you know that September is Fall Hat Month? What can you do with that? Do a project with your kids and send me a pic. I would love to see what you come up with. Exercise your imagination!
'Til next time...Gramma G.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I'm thinking of getting an Etsy shop to sell my gift items. I've been reading everything I can find on how to do it, if its worth it, other people's experiences, etc. and it sounds like a good adventure. A friend of mine and I were going to open a shop and online business once upon a time, but nothing ever came of it. I moved and she seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, so I guess I'm on my own now. I think Etsy might be a much more affordable way to go about it, plus there are thousands of people to get advice from! Now I have to decide which of the things I make that I want to make for other people to buy. Hmmmm...
I've been reading Timothy Adam's book, "How to Make Money Using Etsy" and it doesn't sound too hard. He talks about a few things that I don't know anything about, but most of it I understood, and I think I can do it. I'll just have to learn as I go.
We went to the Harvest Festival in Talent, Oregon, on Saturday and it was a lot of fun. My grandson was in the parade with the Boy Scouts. Talent is a typical small town, except there seems to be something going on all the time. All the little towns around here are like that. Festivals and parades and children's festivals...all kinds of events. And most of them are free! I love it!

There were some neat old cars in the parade,

And some other modes of transportation, too.

The children's market.

Making apple cider.

They look like they're ready to go home, don't they?
Well, time for me to go to bed. I will be posting a new project in the next couple of days, so I'll see you then. And remember.....ideas come from everything! Until next time, keep those socks matched up. Gramma G.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coupon Holder

Have you ever wished you had a coupon holder that actually held the coupons you use? Well, now you can make one for yourself. Its a cute book with pockets that hold all your coupons on one side and have a place on the other side to hold the ones you plan to use for each trip to the store. You can put in as many or as few pockets as you want, and give them the category names that you want. and the binding is fun and easy and allows you to add more pockets or take out any that you find you don't use. It has paper in each section for you make notes if you need to. (Sometimes I need to be reminded which flavor I like, or where its on sale.) You will need: mat board for the covers and spine, cardstock for the pocket pages, copy paper for the note pages, scrapbook paper to cover the cover, a stick a little shorter than the length of the book, and 8 rubber bands.

Start with your pocket pages. I made mine tall and thin to hold those long coupons. I started with an 8 1/2" by 9" piece of bright-colored cardstock. Then I experimented with it until I figured out how to cut it to get what I wanted.
I cut the pocket at an angle to make it easier to get the coupons into the pocket, and here you can see that the holes are in both pieces of the pocket. Fold the pocket piece to the back side of the page and glue only the bottom with a thin line of glue right next to the edge. Then from the leftover piece, cut another pocket to glue to the front of the page. I used several different colors and mixed them up on the pages. This pocket should be narrower than the page so that the edge doesn't get caught in the binding.

When you are cutting the vertical edge of the page, don't forget to cut the tabs for identifying each section. (I made a pattern that had four tabs on it so I could cut whichever one I needed for the page I was doing.) Cut some copy paper 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" to make your note pages for each section. Stack up your pocket pages with 4 or 5 note pages in between and punch holes in them down the cut edge, spacing them evenly, about 1 1/4" apart.

Next comes the cover. Cut two pieces of mat board or really heavy cardboard or chipboard for the cover. Measure your pocket pages and be sure to add the width of the tabs to the measurement of the covers. My covers are 4 7/8" x 8 1/2". (If your cover isn't heavy enough, glue two pieces together for the front and two for the back. Measure the depth of your stack of pages, measuring the folded edge, and add 1/2". This will be the width of the spine and the length will be the same as the covers. Lay your front cover, spine and back cover out on the table, with about 1/8" in between the pieces and measure for the cover paper. Add 1" all the way around. Cut your cover paper to these dimensions. You will need to use a 12x12" piece of paper, heavy enough to hold up under constant opening and closing. Glue the cover pieces to the paper, with 1/4" spaces, and glue the edges up around to the inside of the cover. Finish the inside by gluing in another paper that is 1/4" smaller all the way around. Glue the papers together in the spaces between the pieces really well and fold the covers over to make sure they are stuck together.

When you have all your pages and cover made, you need to punch holes in the cover to match those in the pages. Open your cover and lay one page over the back cover and spine, with the edge that has the holes even with the fold on the front side of the spine. Mark the holes with a pencil. Flip the paper over and lay it over the front cover with the holes to the back side of the spine, and mark the holes. Now you will have two rows of holes about 1/4" in from the folds of the covers. Lay your stack of pages on the back cover and its time to start the binding. You will need a large needle, like for needlepoint, and some heavy thread, like button and carpet thread or crochet thread. Thread a piece of thread through the needle and tie the ends around one of the rubber bands. Loop the rubber band around the stick and put the needle up through a hole at the back of the spine, up through the pages and back down through the corresponding hole in the front of the spine. Loop that end of the rubber band around the stick, too. Do the same thing with the rest of the holes, putting a rubber band in each one. Gently work the stick up the spine as you add each rubber band.

When you get to the middle of the book, loop an extra rubber band around the stick and just leave it hang there. This will be the band that holds the book shut. Mark your tabs and put a little sign on the front of each page that says "Today's Coupons". Now fill it up and start saving!

That's this week's project. I hope you enjoy it. It really is handy and I use mine all the time. No more looking through a big pile of coupons trying to find the right ones. Love, love, love it! This way of binding a book is a natural for nature journals, too, and your kids will love to make them. Next time......

I read something yesterday that hit me with its truth - Gratitude is believing that what you have is enough. Keep up the good work. Gramma G.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Water, water everywhere!

We went to the coast last weekend and we all had a blast! The grandkids had never seen the ocean, and it was so fun to see them discover a whole new world. We were also within driving distance of the Redwood National Forest and my daughter-in-law had never seen trees that big, so there were discoveries all around. You can see some of the photos in the slide show in the sidebar. We just decided to go at the last minute and packed up and left. We had no plans and no supplies, but we had a ball. Everyone was so nice and our tent neighbors shared their firewood with us, and I got to taste fresh crab! The closest I had ever come to crab was imitation until last Saturday, and there is absolutely no comparison! We got to watch the crabbers work their crab pots, too, and I think the next time we go (oh yes, there WILL be a next time) we are going to buy a crab pot for ourselves and try our hand at it.

Saturday morning, before we left, we participated in a really fun event, the Gold Hill Milk Carton Race (although they were really milk jugs, not cartons).  The boats were put into the Rogue River at the Gold Hill Bridge and sailed down river to the Lazy Acres RV Resort, where we had a big BBQ and waited for the boats to come in. We had a lot of fun making them and sailing them, and I think that next year we might build a manned boat! There was only one this year, and it was cool. They had lawn chairs and a big umbrella and an oar in case they got stuck. They fished as they floated down the river and had a good time. They started after all the little boats were put in the water but they got there first.

The boat on the left is my son, Andy's outrigger. It took best of show, but I think Grandpa's pirate ship would have given it a good run for the money except it didn't make it to the end of the race. It got caught in the bushes along the riverbank. So did mine, the red,white and blue one. We almost didn't find it! The cute one with the pink sail and pink zebra stripe tape belongs to my granddaughter, Halena.

Well, its time to finish the laundry and get ready for tomorrow. I need to go to the library - I have overdue books, bad me. Until next time, Gramma G.
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